Ferrari’s announcement of Lewis Hamilton joining their team in 2025 has generated an immense buzz in the world of F1, with many still believing they are living a dream. The news has become so big that it has now extended far beyond the confines of the sport, and even Hollywood celebs are joining the bandwagon. An example of the same came with ‘Bad Boys’ star Will Smith recalling an iconic scene from the film, photoshopped with Hamilton’s face instead of his own on Instagram.
The British driver took note of the post and commented on it by saying, “From now on, that’s how you drive.” Smith’s post became an instant hit on social media, garnering 100.9k likes and 2.4 million views so far within hours of posting the video.
Loading embed instagram https://www.instagram.com/reel/C28oRc9JarV/?utm_source=ig_embed&utm_campaign=loading
Hamilton will be joining Ferrari in 2025 after activating an early release clause in his current Mercedes contract. The British driver will be earning a staggering $400 million during his tenure with Prancing Horse and will partner up with Charles Leclerc for at least two years at the Maranello-based camp. Meanwhile, Carlos Sainz now finds himself out of a driving seat for 2025, complicating matters for the Spaniard.
Things won’t be easy for Mercedes either, as finding an appropriate replacement for Hamilton won’t be an easy task. While Toto Wolff has no shortage of options to choose from, finding a driver capable of filling in Hamilton’s shoes, especially given the team’s struggles with their car, would make for a monumental challenge.
With Lewis Hamilton gone, what’s next for Mercedes?
Aside from focusing on getting back to winning ways in 2024, Wolff now faces the added challenge of having to find a decent replacement for Hamilton before 2025 arrives.
The most straightforward thing to do would be to sign Carlos Sainz to take up the seat, but the Spaniard’s alliances with Audi might play spoilsport in the long term. Fernando Alonso could be another viable replacement, but his age and his stature would once again hinder Mercedes’ long-term goals around George Russell.
Loading embed tweet https://twitter.com/BBCSport/status/1753447076136980510?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw
As such, investing in the future might be the option best suited for Mercedes’ current situation. In that case, Alex Albon could be the heir to Hamilton’s throne, given his impressive drives in 2023 despite a subpar car. Or else, they could tap into their junior program and opt to bring Andrea Kimi Antonelli up the ranks and into the F1 grid.